On This Day in History October 19, 2020

1781 – Americans defeat the British at the Battle of Yorktown, Virginia, effectively bringing an end to the American Revolution.

1796 – An essay appears in the Gazette of the United States in which “Phocion” slyly accuses presidential candidate Thomas Jefferson of having an affair with an enslaved woman. Phocion turns out to be former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton.

1812 – Napoleon’s starving French army begins a hasty retreat from Russia, a month after invading a burning and deserted Moscow.

1985 – The first Blockbuster video-rental store opens in Dallas, Texas, with some 8,000 videos displayed on shelves around the store. Thousands of additional stores are opened, but Blockbuster files for bankruptcy in 2010, the victim of Amazon, pay-per-view, and movie streaming.